• Disinformation and Russian Intelligence with Michael Isikoff

    Air Dates: October 14-20, 2019

    In the early morning hours of July 10, 2016, a young staffer for the Democratic National Committee was murdered as he walked home from a bar.  Without any real evidence, Seth Rich’s death became a focal point for efforts to debunk the story that Russia hacked the DNC to help Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.  Michael Isikoff, however, tells us that the conspiracy theories around Seth Rich’s murder have a remarkable origin: Russian intelligence. 

    Isikoff is an investigative journalist who is currently the Chief Investigative Correspondent at Yahoo News.  He is also the co-author with of the 2018 book, “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump.”  Isikoff previously served as the national investigative correspondent for NBC News and Newsweek, writing extensively on the U.S. government’s War on Terrorism, the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse, campaign finance, presidential politics, and other national issues.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Isikoff discusses the divisive issues Russia seeks to perpetuate.  He cites the ideological “silos” social media creates as one of the key factors in the disinformation equation, saying, “it is hard to overstate how insidious this sort of thing is, because disinformation in the social media age is now the ‘way we do business.’”  Isikoff emphasizes how difficult discussions about serious issues facing the country can be when everyone remains in their own silo.

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs 8:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 4:30 a.m. & 11:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

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